Last updated: 02:15 PM ET, Mon April 04 2016

Alaska Air Outbids JetBlue for Virgin America

Airlines & Airports | Amy Coyne Bredeson | April 03, 2016

Alaska Air Outbids JetBlue for Virgin America

Photo via Alaska Airlines

Alaska Air Group has outbid JetBlue Airways for the acquisition of Virgin America, sources told Reuters on Saturday. 

Alaska Air bid more than $2 billion for the ninth-largest U.S. airline by passenger traffic, Reuters reported.

READ MORE: Does Alaska Airlines Now Have The Best Frequent Flier Program?

The airline will spend $56-$58 a share for the acquisition, and an announcement could come Monday, sources told Reuters.

This will be the first merger of U.S. commercial airlines since 2013, when American Airlines and US Airways merged, according to Reuters.

The acquisition would allow Alaska Air to expand its market to profitable airports such as those in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Reuters said.

READ MORE: Inside an Airline Rebranding: Alaska Air’s New Look

"It's inevitable that we would see some form of combination (among smaller airlines) as they strive to find a way to compete with the larger carriers," travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt told Reuters.

Over the past decade, large mergers such as this one have pared down the U.S. industry to just four leading airlines, Reuters reported.


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